Low Calorie Dieting Dangerous?
By Kevin Cann
With bathing suit weather fast approaching, it is the fourth quarter of meeting our weight loss goals that we set back in January. We all know that in order to lose weight we must take in fewer calories than we expend.
We do this by putting our data into a generic equation and calculating every bite of food we eat. Then, we go to the gym and run as hard as we can for as many days as we can force ourselves to do it. This should allow us to reach our goals right?
The Truth About Low Calorie Eating
In 2010, Lucy Aphramor published an article in Nutrition Journal. This study was a literature review of articles in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics from 2004 to 2008. The author concluded by saying:
Dietetic literature on weight management fails to meet the standards of evidence based medicine. Research in the field is characterized by speculative claims that fail to accurately represent the available data. There is a corresponding lack of debate on the ethical implications of continuing to promote ineffective treatment regimes and little research into alternative non-weight centered approaches. An alternative health at every size approach is recommended.1
According to the author, low calorie dieting has a high long-term failure rate for sustainable weight loss. Could continued low calorie dieting be dangerous? The research clearly states that it has the potential to negatively affect our health. Researchers have found that low calorie diets lead to increased cortisol production, our major stress hormone, and also an increase in psychological stress due to calorie counting.